5 Ways to Attract a Consistent Flow of Ideal, High Paying Clients

How to Attract a Consistent Flow of Ideal, High Paying Clients
One of the major challenges facing today's service-based entrepreneur is creating a steady stream of ideal clients. In a vast marketplace where there has the potential to be hundreds of thousands of people who do what you do, it can be hard to figure out how to stand out from the crowd just so that potential clients can see what you have to offer. In an effort to offer a few valuable tips to aid service based entrepreneurs is attracting more ideal clients, allow me to share the following:

Clarify Your Ideal Client. The universal law of business says, "find the group of people who have the exact problem that you solve who are ready right now to pay for a solution to that problem." To attract more ideal clients, you have to clarify exactly who you help. It's not enough to have a target market, you must also have a niche and within that niche get crystal clear about the exact type of person, yes, one type of person that you are the perfect solution to the problems that they have.

Ask yourself:

      1. Who are they?

      2. What are their problems?

      3. What do they need right now to solve those problems? And how do I offer that solution?

Then, you must ensure that you are directing your marketing efforts to the exact person who will benefit from the solution that you provide. Interestingly, when you do this, you will find that there are many people in that same situation that are now attracted to you as the solution to their problem.

Focus on the problem you solve, not your credentials. Honestly, people really could care less what degrees you have unless they need a doctor or a lawyer. People are more concerned about the transformation you provide. When you create marketing materials that clearly highlight that transformation, they will know without a doubt if you provide the solution they are searching for. Don't make your materials about you, speak their language and make everything about your ideal client. After all, one radio station that everyone listens to is WIIFM- What's In It For Me.

Give your products and packages names that demonstrate the problem you solve. When building a new program or creating a new service option, don't try to be cute with your title, instead focus on the problem you solve and name it that. If your new program will show clients how to convert rooms after kids go off to college, call your new program Kids Off to College Conversions . See the difference? The title is exactly what your ideal clients can expect when they register for the service.
Have a defined call to action. Here's where many entrepreneurs miss the mark. They offer great content, they illustrate value but they don't tell ideal clients what to do next. As a result, the phone doesn't ring, no one visits your website, you stay in a famine mode in your business. You always want any interaction with your ideal clients to include the next step, which is known as the call to action. Having a strong one will send ideal clients right to your door via the vehicle of your choosing.

Give them a reason to take action immediately. In the movie the Godfather, one of my favorite movie lines ever exists and it pertains to this final tip: "make them an offer they can't refuse." When your call to action is clear and strong and you create a sense of urgency in your offer, clients will take action and sign up for your products and services. When you make these five quick tips a part of your daily business practices, you will see your ideal clients coming to you with consistent flow. Happy client attracting!
By Darnyelle A. Jervey
Photography by Theodor8

©2012 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, The Incredible Factor Business Mentor and Coach, is the founder of http://www.IncredibleOneEnterprises.com and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System


10 Questions To Ask Your Accountant

This is a quick checklist of a few things that you should expect to ask your existing or potential accountant.

1. What will you do to help my business?

They should list a number of things, possibly even answering some of the other questions. A good response would include, introducing you to other professionals, potential customers and networking groups; referring your business to other customers of theirs; proactive advice and support - recognising that you might not know the right question to ask, so they shouldn't wait until you ask to offer advice where relevant.

2. What guarantees do you offer?

Again expect several guarantees regarding services, standards, turnaround time for work, etc.

3. Do you offer fixed pricing?

Some firms offer fixed pricing for certain services or service bundles.

4. How long will it take you to prepare a set of accounts?

Expect something like 30 days (60 max).

5. Can I expect to have a tax planning meeting before my year end?

This should be standard and included in the  fee.

6. Will you recommend my business to others?

Some companies make it their policy to do so.

7. Can you show me some testimonials / case studies from existing customers?

The firm should have a selection of testimonials. The fact that they ask for them will also tell you something about the type of firm they are; ie forward thinking and proactive.

8. How often can I expect to see / hear from you?

This should be more than once a year. You should at least expect newsletters, occasional invitations or recommendations even if you don't have any work done during the year.

9. Can you refer other people who can help my business?

Most companies have a network of reliable professionals who can help you.

10. Can I expect to receive proactive advice?

This should be an absolute yes.

By Julia McDaid
Photography by © Adam Ciesielski

Julia is an entrepreneur, investor, mentor and author. Her blog Finding Wealth and Freedom was set up to help and inspire everyone to find the place they want to go in their life. Whatever this means for you, wealth, choices, leaving a corporate job, setting up in business, creating or investing in whatever form suits you. When you sign up to the blog to get news and updates you will automatically get a free copy of the ebook "Secrets of the Successful Entrepreneur" see http://www.findingwealthandfreedom.com



'Big Rock' Actions To Jumpstart Your Design Business Momentum

How To Take Daily 'Big Rock' Actions To Jumpstart Your Business Into Massive Momentum

Do you know exactly what actions you need to do today to be on track to reaching your big, long-term goals?  Do you know which actions should be done first to make today a success?

If not, don't worry about it right now. By the end of this article, you will have the tools and techniques you need to answer a confident YES to both these questions. By the way, most entrepreneurs and small business owners cannot answer Yes to both these questions. Many of them hop from task to task and work very hard at their businesses, but the results they desire don't happen.

You may be wondering how these these people can work so hard, yet not achieve their long-term goals. One big reason is that hard work alone doesn't make a business successful. There are many other factors that come into play.

Two of the most important factors are these:

1) Using a daily task list

2) Doing "Big Rock" priorities first

You've probably heard of using a daily task list before, but do you do it? I used to overcomplicate things by writing down my tasks all over the place -- sometimes in my day planner, sometimes on post-it notes, sometimes on spare sheets of note paper, etc. By doing it that way it was easy for my mind to get distracted and not make much progress toward my big goals each day.

What I've found works best for me is to keep my daily planning system as simple as possible. What I do now is keep one sheet of paper as my Master Task List and another
sheet of paper as my Daily Task List. And I carry both sheets of paper in my pocket at all times.

Your Master Task List is a list of all the tasks that you want to do for your business. This list grows and grows as you think of new ideas and plan out the achievement of your long-term goals. Of course, when you finish a task, you cross it off the list.

Your Daily Task List contains just your tasks listed for today. You should write out your daily list once a day, either just before going to bed or right when you wake up in the morning.

But here's the critical part of this daily list. You only list the most important 3-5 tasks that you want to do today to move your business forward. Don't list all the little things -- just the big ones. Some people call these tasks the "Big Rock" items.

The term "Big Rocks" comes from a demonstration that time management professionals have often done in front of a room. It goes something like this:

Imagine you are sitting in the audience and in front of the room you see a large, clear crystal vase sitting on a table. The vase is empty and several rocks are sitting beside it. As you look closer at the rocks, you can see that they basically can be grouped into two
different sizes -- big and little.

The presenter in front of the room tells you that the vase represents the amount of time you have each day and the rocks represent all the tasks you want to get done. He goes on to say that what most business owners do is to do the easy, smaller tasks first. And as he says this, he puts most of the smaller rocks into the bottom of the vase.

But when it comes time to get the big tasks done, they don't fit into your day anymore. And as he says this, he begins placing the big rocks into the vase, but none of them can fit. He then says, "Let's try it again, but this time with the big rocks first." He empties the contents of the vase and puts all three of the big rocks in. And they fit this time!

Then he puts in the little rocks and they all fit too! The little rocks find resting places between and all around the big rocks. Even though this is a simple exercise, it has a profoundly important message for you and your business. And that is this...

Focusing on doing your Big rocks first everyday is one of the keys to big results, more profits and more free time! As you plan out your day today (or tomorrow if you are reading this late in the day), make sure to pick your top one, two, or three big rocks and attack them as soon as you can during the day. If you can't do them right away, at least schedule the time to do them in your planner so you can set aside time today to get them done.

In his bestselling books and seminars, Og Mandino has often said that one of your secrets to success is to live each day in a daytight compartment. This means to live your life focused on what you can accomplish in the 24 hours that are in front of you right now. Live today as if it's all you have and focus on the top priority tasks that you need to complete before the 24 hours is up.

Og's discussion of daytight compartments also refers to not dwelling on mistakes of the past or worries about the future. Instead, focus your efforts on what you can do today and you'll see the results start pouring in for you as each productive day passes.

The great Earl Nightingale once said that "Successful people form the habit of doing what failures don't like to do. They like the results they get by doing what they don't necessarily enjoy."

Earl is saying that you'll often be faced with having to do unenjoyable tasks from time to time. And a lot of the time these unenjoyable tasks are your big rocks for the day. So instead of procrastinating, go out there and get it done!

Tom Hopkins said it a little differently:
"Every evening, write down the six most important things that you must do the next day (for your business). Then while you sleep your subconscious will work on the best ways for you to accomplish them. Your next day will go much more smoothly."

Take a tip from the experts like Og, Earl, and Tom and go out there and make it happen today. Take the time to write out your Daily Task List for the day and carry it with you everywhere. And when you complete one of your Big Rocks, cross it off the list with a smile!

By Matt Zembruski
Photography by Forca

Matt Zembruski (aka "Mr. Momentum") is the author of this article and publisher of the Massive Momentum Now newsletter. Subscribe today to get your free audio special report called "The #1 Reason Why Businesses Fail and How You Can Avoid It!". You will also discover a proven step-by-step system that gets you results...guaranteed. Free subscription if you visit our site today. ($197 value) http://www.mrmomentum.com


7 Quicktips For Writing Your Interior Design Marketing Plan

Top 7 Tips For Writing Your Marketing Plan

A lot of people are at a loss when it comes to deciding how to approach the marketing plan process and how to stay within time and budget constraints. To make for a less stressful marketing plan process, keep these 7 tips in mind:

Think Strategy First

An overall marketing strategy drives many decisions. If you first identify general goals, choosing appropriate marketing programs for a small business plan becomes much easier.

Decide Format
Putting together a general outline and deciding how you will publish the plan can help you better visualize steps you need to take. Examples are:

(a) a full, detailed report including Executive Summary, the plan itself, and back-up data

(b) a single summary sheet or

(c) something in between.

Size and structure of the small business can help determine the scope of the plan.

Set Aside Time

A good, strategic marketing plan requires a certain amount of analysis. Early stages in the process go smoother with minimal interruptions. Make it easier for those working on the plan to concentrate by setting aside "closed" time during early planning stages. In a busy, small business environment, this can be accomplished by working during off hours or putting aside a short time - 30 minutes to an hour - each day.

New, creative ideas flow more freely when people are not inhibited by preconceptions. Hold a brainstorming session with two rules:

(a) there are no bad ideas and

(b) everyone's ideas carry equal weight.

Shorten The List

Implementation suffers severely when there is an overload of marketing projects, especially in small businesses with a small or one-person marketing department. The list of potential projects generated in the brainstorming session can be shortened by concentrating on those likely to be the most profitable and those that take advantage of the company's internal strengths.

Make The Plan Flexible

Business does not operate in a vacuum, so your plan needn't exist in one. For example, the business environment may change during the year or additional marketing opportunities may arise. Building in flexibility to adjust throughout the year can avoid the pitfall of continuing down an unproductive path.

Have Measurements In Place

Knowing if and how well a program works can help you identify opportunities for improvement. In your marketing plan or in back-up documents, set explicit goals and measurements.

Bobette Kyle draws upon 12+ years of Marketing/Executive experience, Marketing MBA, and online marketing research in her writing. Bobette is proprietor of the Web Site Marketing Plan Network, http://www.WebSiteMarketingPlan.com, and author of the marketing plan and Web promotion book "How Much For Just the Spider? Strategic Website Marketing For Small Budget Business." ( HowMuchForSpider.com/TOC.htm ) Copyright 2004, Bobette Kyle. All rights reserved.

By Bobette Kyle
Photography by Celal Taber


I0 Things Draining Your Design Business of Profitability

© Vojtech VlkSo many business owners work hard - really hard - just to break even or keep afloat. Each one of us deserves reward for our efforts, whether that be financial or personal. The question to ask yourself is whether you are directing your effort in the right places to get the reward you want?

Of the businesses I've seen and worked in, there are plenty of ways to mis-spend effort - that is, to work hard, but on the wrong things. Here are ten of the most common areas where the return on your efforts can really be ramped up.

1. Marketing Inconsistently
Once you have committed to owning and running a business you must be equally committed to marketing and selling the products and services of that business. It is difficult, if not impossible, to stay and remain profitable without a commitment to ongoing concerted marketing.
To get more out of your marketing, create a simple marketing plan that includes marketing activity every day, every week and every month. Marketing plans combine formal activities (such as advertising, promotions and writing) with informal activities (such as making new contacts). Don't underestimate the power of talking to people about what you do. Use every opportunity, every time.

2. Fear of Asking for the Sale
Isn't it true that we think asking directly for someone's business means coming across as pushy or obnoxious. But if we have this attitude, we are letting profit-producing opportunities pass us by. Worrying more about what someone thinks of you than bringing more money into the business is an all too common mistake. If you find it difficult to "ask for the sale", you can be sure that you're not bringing in as much money as you could be.
The most effective way to address this issue it to practice asking for the sale in language that you are comfortable with (not too wishy-washy please). Write down what you want to say first, then practice it over and over. There is also plenty of stuff out there on handling objections. Prepare your responses to the most common objections so you are well armed before you speak with your prospective customers.

3. Getting Help
Most business owners possess strengths in one or two specific areas, but whether by necessity or design, they often end up working in areas they aren't strong in. This builds inefficiencies and potential for mistakes into the business. To compound the problem, we don't ask for help straight away, but struggle on doing the stuff we are not suited to (saves money right?) But each day that goes by with your business running at less than maximum efficiency, means dollars lost from your pocket.
Work out where you add the most and least value in your business. Pay someone to help you out with these low value add activities. Your time is best spent where you add the most value. If you can do more of this kind of activity, your business will benefit.

4. Use your Existing Customer Base
All the research tells us that it is easier and cheaper to keep working with customers you already have, than to get new customers into your business. If you are not following up with past customers on a regular basis you are reducing your profitability potential.
Develop strategies to keep your customers with you, such as loyalty plans, regular communications and special offers. Implement a regular process for following up your customers after they buy from you.

5. Managing Expenses
Savvy business owners regularly appraise their business expenses and find ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. If you haven't completed a cost analysis lately, you might be paying more than you need to be, which will reduce your profitability.
At least once per quarter you should review your expenses and negotiate for adjustments as appropriate. Categorize everything you spend under 3 headings: Essential, Nice to Have and Non-Essential. Everything in the last two categories is up for grabs - be ruthless!

6. Spending large amounts on glossy, slick marketing materials and expecting business to pour in without any additional effort.
Glossy brochures and slick marketing materials are a nice addition to more active forms of marketing such as meeting people, calling people and speaking to people. However, brochures and business cards, no matter how beautiful, do not replace direct contact. If you are spending money on flashy marketing materials in the place of marketing directly, your profitability will suffer. The most effective form of marketing comes from you talking about your business to others.
Marketing materials are an expense, and to be sure they are working, you need to get some handle on the return on your investment. At the very least you should be tracking where new business is coming from so you can get an idea of whether your marketing materials are contributing to any new business you get.

7. Spending a significant amount of time in low-return activities
Don't we all know about this one! If you are spending the majority of your day completing tasks which are administrative in nature and/or which can be easily completed by other people then you are not putting yourself to best use. For most of us, the best value-adding activity we can be involved with is in bringing business in the door by building relationships, talking to prospective customers and promoting our business.
What value do you put on your time? Assign yourself a competitive hourly rate for the market and industry you work in - it might be anywhere from $100 per hour or upwards. Then ask yourself whether you would pay anyone that hourly rate to process accounts or do administrative work. If the answer is no, find a way of getting these low-return activities done for a lower hourly rate. Hire a bookkeeper or assistant for a few hours a week, and spend your time doing the valuable work.

8. Not charging enough for what you do.
This challenge seems to arise especially for people who sell services. Either we feel embarrassed to ask for the amount we want, or we simply accept less money than we need - so we get "some money" rather than "no money". But beware, after a while, working for too little can leave you exhausted and resentful, not to mention the impact it has on your profitability.
You do not need to defend an increase in your fees either. It is normal business strategy to review fee structures, make changes and advise customers. And contrary to our fears, it is often the case that business levels improve after fees are increased. It seems that we attract a whole different class of customer when our fees reflect the value we provide.

9. Not making enough use of technology which could save time and effort.
As a business owner, you have a fixed amount of time and energy within which you must maximize your profits. Technology can help you do this in the form of autoresponders, voicemail, wireless internet connections, speech recognition software, SMS from your computer and so on. All of these tools are widely available to us, and are designed to save time and effort. Each of us needs to continually look for ways to make business processes more efficient by using inexpensive technology.
Often the problem is that we don't know what we don't know. Some wonderful tool might be available but we don't know it exists. You need to stay on top of the latest products by regularly checking in with business and telecommunications sites.

10. Sticking with outdated business models or plans.
You've all heard it before - doing things the way they have always been done means that you will get the results that you always got. If you are not satisfied with your results then you need to re-look at what and how you are doing things. An astute entrepreneur has a mindset that is always challenging the way things are done in the business.
Another great way of coming across new ideas is to attend seminars and conferences on various topics. If you get a single idea to put into practice in your business, then that seminar has been worthwhile.

If you are serious about improving your business' profitability (and aren't we all?), then taking action on these areas will help you make more money and have more fun in your business. And that's what it's all about really.

By Megan Tough
Photography by Vojtech Vlk

Megan Tough - published writer, coach, facilitator and speaker - works with people to create outstandingly satisfying and truly successful professional lives. Make more money - have more fun! To learn more and to sign up for more FREE tips and articles like these, visit http://www.megantough.com